Sexual Harassment in the Nightclub Industry
Sexual harassment in the nightclub industry is common. Many people find themselves forced to smile in the face of humiliating sexual comments or gestures because "the customer is always right." It can be difficult, for example, for a bartender to stand up for him or herself in the face of repeated sexual harassment from customers because his or her wage and ability to make a living depend at least partly on tips from customers. If a manager refuses to step in or is the source of the harassment, the bartender or other nightclub worker may feel he or she has no recourse to justice. At Phillips & Associates, our sexual harassment attorneys understand the tremendous strain on New York City employees in the nightclub industry. We provide aggressive representation for victims of any gender.Protecting Your Rights as an Employee in the Nightclub Industry
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination occurring in the workplace. Some new laws are also finding sexual harassment when there is a relationship of trust existing between doctor and patient, attorney and client, landlord and tenant, and so forth.
Actionable sexual harassment may include requests for sex, sexual bribery, unlawful touching, sexist comments, or sexual joking. The sexual harassment can be either quid pro quo or through a hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment exists when someone with authority over you, such as an owner or supervisor, explicitly or implicitly offers to take or refrain from taking a particular employment action toward you in return for a sexual favor. For example, if your boss says you will be promoted to "bartender" from "bar back" if you sleep with him or her, this is quid pro quo harassment. Hostile work environment happens when sexual conduct or comments are so severe or pervasive that they interfere with someone's ability to perform a job. In New York City the standard for a hostile work environment is less than the state and federal’s “sever or pervasive standard.
A hostile work environment can also arise if the management acts such that an employee must quit. For example, if a waitress reports that customers are sexually assaulting her and the management's response is to cut wages, transfer the employee to another nightclub that is very far away, or condition the job on tolerating sexual assault, this may be a hostile work environment.
You can potentially recover damages from the employer in a sexual harassment case. If the employer knows about the harassment, he or she should stop it from continuing. However, holding an employer liable can be more challenging when a customer is the person engaging in the harassment.
Workplace sexual harassment plaintiffs may be able to recover some combination of compensatory damages, emotional damages, and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are items such as loss of employability, lost wages, or other economic damages. Emotional damages include pain and humiliation. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the harassment is truly egregious.Consult a Dedicated Sexual Harassment Attorney in New York City
Sexual harassment in New York's nightclub industry can cause real harm to those working in the industry. If you were subject to harassment, you may be entitled to damages. In most cases, employers in New York City deny liability for gender discrimination, so you may need an experienced lawyer on your side. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form to set up a free appointment. We serve employees across the five boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway, #430
New York, NY 10006